Monday, June 28, 2010
Today, President Obama announced the Presidential Policy Directive on Space. Space policy has been a part of national security since President Eisenhower issued the National Aeronautics and Space Act into law in 1958. Every President since has used national space policy to address the unique challenges and priorities of the time.
President Obama’s Directive includes several measures to ensure that space policy promotes homeland security. It emphasizes partnerships with the private sector and international governments and recognizes the crucial relationship between space-based assets and critical infrastructure, such as electric power and cell phones.
These initiatives will enable DHS and others to use the best space technology available to address the concerns of today as well as the challenges of tomorrow. Check out the President's statement.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Throughout our history, we have welcomed more refugees and asylum seekers than any other nation in the world. Since the enactment of the Refugee Act of 1980, approximately 2.5 million refugees have been resettled in the U.S. and approximately 500,000 asylees have been granted protection by our government. Almost 1.3 million of these refugees and over 165,000 asylees have gone on to become American citizens.
Last fiscal year, DHS’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) granted protection to over 11,933 asylum seekers and to more than 74,000 refugees from 79 countries. To safeguard the integrity of our refugee and asylum processes, USCIS engages in robust security screening, training, and quality assurance mechanisms – executed in close collaboration with other DHS components.
These efforts sometimes involve significant danger for USCIS personnel, who have traveled to war zones across the globe to conduct refugee status interviews to identify those who qualify – many of whom have assisted U.S. military efforts abroad – and ensure they can find protection and build new lives in the United States.
This World Refugee Day, I want to take a moment to commend these DHS employees, at home and abroad, for their dedicated service on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers. Thanks to their work, we are fulfilling an important humanitarian mission.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Most of our readers know Admiral Thad Allen as the National Incident Commander for the Deepwater BP Oil Spill. In this role, he manages the federal oversight and response to the oil spill, advises the President and Secretary Napolitano, and makes sure that BP is doing its job to stop the leak, clean up the spill, and compensate individuals, businesses, and governments for losses related to this disaster. His last job was equally as impressive – Allen served as Commandant of the United States Coast Guard for the past four years. In dealing with Hurricane Katrina and other disasters, Allen has proven that he can handle a big challenge, no matter what his title is.
On May 25, 2010, Secretary Napolitano spoke at the official Change of Command ceremony where she thanked Allen for his service and welcomed the new Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Robert Papp. While new to the position, Admiral Papp is no stranger to the men and women of the United States Coast Guard – he celebrates his 35th year of service this year. Prior to his new position, Admiral Papp served as Commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Region, Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard and Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Headquarters. In addition to his years of valuable experience in the Coast Guard, Papp holds the honor of Gold Ancient Mariner, a position given to an officer who has held the qualification as a Cutterman longer than any other. Both Allen and Papp spoke at the Change of Command ceremony as the guests celebrated the contributions of these men and the rest of the Coast Guard. The video is featured below – take a look and learn a bit more about the leaders of this important branch of the United States military.